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Imperial City of Hue was lesson in Vietnamese history

Thien Mu Pagoda is an icon of Vietnam and a potent symbol of Hue as the former capital; the 21 meter high, octagonal tower was built in 1844

Thien Mu Pagoda is an icon of Vietnam and a potent symbol of Hue as the former capital; the 21 meter high, octagonal tower was built in 1844

Most of Hue's sites lie in the Imperial Citadel which is on the north side of the Perfume River while most of the city and tourist hotels lie on the south side of the river

Most of Hue's sites lie in the Imperial Citadel which is on the north side of the Perfume River while most of the city and tourist hotels lie on the south side of the river

This car became famous when a Buddhist monk exited it in Saigon in 1963 and set himself on fire; this was to protest Vietnam's policies of discriminating against Buddhists and violating religious freedom

This car became famous when a Buddhist monk exited it in Saigon in 1963 and set himself on fire; this was to protest Vietnam's policies of discriminating against Buddhists and violating religious freedom

The Meridian Gate is the main gate for the Hue Imperial Citadel; I visited twice since the complex is so huge and our tour visit just saw a small portion of the complex

The Meridian Gate is the main gate for the Hue Imperial Citadel; I visited twice since the complex is so huge and our tour visit just saw a small portion of the complex

What's left of the Imperial Citadel is just a fraction of the original since only 20 of 148 buildings survived after the French (1945) and Vietnam (1968) Wars

What's left of the Imperial Citadel is just a fraction of the original since only 20 of 148 buildings survived after the French (1945) and Vietnam (1968) Wars

Nguyễn Phúc Ánh united Vietnam after a three-hundred-year division of the country; he celebrated his coronation at Huế on June 1, 1802 and proclaimed himself emperor

Nguyễn Phúc Ánh united Vietnam after a three-hundred-year division of the country; he celebrated his coronation at Huế on June 1, 1802 and proclaimed himself emperor

The Tomb of Tu Duc is the most popular and impressive of the royal mausoleums in Hue; his tomb is 5 kms south of the city while the other tombs are scattered slightly further out of town

The Tomb of Tu Duc is the most popular and impressive of the royal mausoleums in Hue; his tomb is 5 kms south of the city while the other tombs are scattered slightly further out of town

Emperor Tu Duc enjoyed the longest reign of any monarch of the Nguyen dynasty, ruling from 1848-83; despite the grandeur of the site and the amount of time Tu Duc spent here, he was buried in a different, secret location somewhere in Hue

Emperor Tu Duc enjoyed the longest reign of any monarch of the Nguyen dynasty, ruling from 1848-83; despite the grandeur of the site and the amount of time Tu Duc spent here, he was buried in a different, secret location somewhere in Hue

Hue had a great deal of public art and a very attractive riverside park; even though the city was dirty in places, the tourist destinations were much cleaner than other stops on our tour

Hue had a great deal of public art and a very attractive riverside park; even though the city was dirty in places, the tourist destinations were much cleaner than other stops on our tour

The Chuong Duc Gate was built in 1804; it was one of five gates that allowed entrance to the Imperial City from the Citadel

The Chuong Duc Gate was built in 1804; it was one of five gates that allowed entrance to the Imperial City from the Citadel

The 9 bronze dynastic urns symbolize the 9 Vietnamese emperors; on each of them are engraved the 17 most important authentic Vietnamese symbols of mountains, oceans, stars and more, which together reveal the history of the country

The 9 bronze dynastic urns symbolize the 9 Vietnamese emperors; on each of them are engraved the 17 most important authentic Vietnamese symbols of mountains, oceans, stars and more, which together reveal the history of the country

Hue is pronounced like whey; even though it has around a million people it seemed quite subdued and more civilized than Hanoi

Hue is pronounced like whey; even though it has around a million people it seemed quite subdued and more civilized than Hanoi

To keep the secret location of Tu Duc's tomb safe the 200 laborers who buried the king were all beheaded after they returned from the secret route; to this day, the real tomb of Tu Duc remains hidden

To keep the secret location of Tu Duc's tomb safe the 200 laborers who buried the king were all beheaded after they returned from the secret route; to this day, the real tomb of Tu Duc remains hidden

The Tomb of Tu Duc was built for the Nguyễn Emperor and was built from 1864–1867; it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the Imperial City

The Tomb of Tu Duc was built for the Nguyễn Emperor and was built from 1864–1867; it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the Imperial City

A moat surrounds the Imperial Citadel; the Forbidden City is a citadel within the larger citadel

A moat surrounds the Imperial Citadel; the Forbidden City is a citadel within the larger citadel

Hue was settled inland on the Perfume River so that ships had safe shelter from the frequent typhoons; I guess real flamingos had less luck so artificial ones are here now

Hue was settled inland on the Perfume River so that ships had safe shelter from the frequent typhoons; I guess real flamingos had less luck so artificial ones are here now

The Imperial City of Hue was constructed from 1805-1832; this relatively short period assured that the building styles were consistent and harmonious

The Imperial City of Hue was constructed from 1805-1832; this relatively short period assured that the building styles were consistent and harmonious

The Emperor's Reading Room was the only part of the Forbidden City to escape damage during the French reoccupation of Hue in 1947; this was one of my favorite buildings in the complex

The Emperor's Reading Room was the only part of the Forbidden City to escape damage during the French reoccupation of Hue in 1947; this was one of my favorite buildings in the complex

When I returned to the Imperial City for a second visit, others took motorbikes through the city surroundings with several interesting stops

When I returned to the Imperial City for a second visit, others took motorbikes through the city surroundings with several interesting stops

The East Gate of the Imperial Citadel; the walls around the complex are 6 meters high and 2.5 kilometers long; there is much restoration and reconstruction work ongoing

The East Gate of the Imperial Citadel; the walls around the complex are 6 meters high and 2.5 kilometers long; there is much restoration and reconstruction work ongoing

The Temple of Original Ancestor was badly damaged during the 1968 Tet Offensive; in 2014, it underwent a 27 month period of restoration funded with $700,000 by the United States Department of State

The Temple of Original Ancestor was badly damaged during the 1968 Tet Offensive; in 2014, it underwent a 27 month period of restoration funded with $700,000 by the United States Department of State

Dien Tho Residence (1804) once comprised the apartments and audience hall of the queen mothers of the Nguyen dynasty; the Nguyen Dynasty – which would be the last of the dynasties in the country – would rule over it for 143 years

Dien Tho Residence (1804) once comprised the apartments and audience hall of the queen mothers of the Nguyen dynasty; the Nguyen Dynasty – which would be the last of the dynasties in the country – would rule over it for 143 years

Minh Mạng, the longest serving emperor of the Nguyen dynasty. had a large number of wives and concubines; he is reported to have fathered 142 children from 43 wives

Minh Mạng, the longest serving emperor of the Nguyen dynasty. had a large number of wives and concubines; he is reported to have fathered 142 children from 43 wives

This bronze cauldron was cast during the reign of Lord Nguyen Phuc Tan in 1662; the cauldron symbolized the strength and lastingness of his government

This bronze cauldron was cast during the reign of Lord Nguyen Phuc Tan in 1662; the cauldron symbolized the strength and lastingness of his government

This royal theater at the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc is the oldest in Hue; the emperor designed his own tomb complex for his use during his life as well as upon his death

This royal theater at the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc is the oldest in Hue; the emperor designed his own tomb complex for his use during his life as well as upon his death

This restaurant across from our hotel said it had the best Mexican food in Hue; upon looking at the menu I could find not a single item that I thought was Mexican food

This restaurant across from our hotel said it had the best Mexican food in Hue; upon looking at the menu I could find not a single item that I thought was Mexican food

The Halls of the Mandarins were used as offices to prepare for court ceremonies; there were very old photographs displayed around the complex but I wanted to see photos from immediately before the Vietnam War (called the American War here)

The Halls of the Mandarins were used as offices to prepare for court ceremonies; there were very old photographs displayed around the complex but I wanted to see photos from immediately before the Vietnam War (called the American War here)

It's hard to imagine how the Imperial City once looked given how huge it is; the complex is in a grid pattern with whole blocks empty as a result of the destruction done during the Vietnam War

It's hard to imagine how the Imperial City once looked given how huge it is; the complex is in a grid pattern with whole blocks empty as a result of the destruction done during the Vietnam War

Bonsai terrace at Thien Mu Pagoda; our overnight train from Hanoi was horrendous as it was loud, jolting and impossible to sleep

Bonsai terrace at Thien Mu Pagoda; our overnight train from Hanoi was horrendous as it was loud, jolting and impossible to sleep

Over the years, the Throne Palace (1805) became the preferred setting for the Empire's most important ceremonies, like the Coronations of Emperors and Crown Princes, and receiving foreign ambassadors

Over the years, the Throne Palace (1805) became the preferred setting for the Empire's most important ceremonies, like the Coronations of Emperors and Crown Princes, and receiving foreign ambassadors

We haven't found Uber in Vietnam, but they do have Grab which is similar but on a motorcycle; the guys wear green shirts and always asked if we needed a ride

We haven't found Uber in Vietnam, but they do have Grab which is similar but on a motorcycle; the guys wear green shirts and always asked if we needed a ride

The Temple of the Generations, built in 1821, was built to worship 10 emperors from the Nguyen dynasty; during all ceremonies inside the temple. women were forbidden to enter

The Temple of the Generations, built in 1821, was built to worship 10 emperors from the Nguyen dynasty; during all ceremonies inside the temple. women were forbidden to enter

Posted by VagabondCowboy 05:41

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